Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Collective bargaining levels playing field
In the real world, individuals try to survive and earn enough to support themselves and their families. But what chance does a single individual have in bargaining with a large organization or business as "one-on-one," with equal power and rights? The answer is, almost none.

A Pioneer's Parting Advice
Statehood pioneer Katie Hurley gave words of advice to the University of Alaska Southeast's 2009 graduates Sunday, and shared stories going back to the decades before statehood.

High school laptop program gets late start
When school officials rolled out laptops to lend to every high school freshman in the district in February, students, parents and educators were abuzz about the possibilities.

Study: Juneau cost of living high, growing
It costs more to live in Juneau, about 11 percent more, than it does in Anchorage, and the difference is increasing.

Crustacean invasion: Beware the green crab
Beware of the small, insidious green crab. Scientists say it's not a matter of if but when it's seen in Southeast, and they are looking for more volunteers to keep an eye out for the four-inch, formerly European crustacean.

School Board to make final decision on school start times
The Juneau School Board is poised to make its final decision Tuesday on whether or not to shuffle school start times around in the fall.

Photo: Combat fishing
Dozens of anglers stretch out along the rocks of False Outer Point on Douglas Island with others fishing from passing nearby boats on Sunday hoping to catch the big one for the Spring King Salmon Derby, which continues until March 31.

Photo: What nice teeth you have
Beth Mathews, assistant professor of biology at University of Alaska Southeast, stands in front of a picture of a harbor porpoise and talks about the differences between porpoise and dolphin teeth during a presentation on Monday at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Auke Bay Lab. NOAA offered a marine naturalist training seminar to commercial whale watching groups so that correct information goes out to tourists throughout the summer. Topics included whales, harbor seals, bears, seabirds, steller sealions, salmon and shore zone intertidal.

Spring King Salmon Derby opens in style
The extended sunshine lured a slew of anglers into the water for the 13th annual Spring King Salmon Derby's opening weekend, but organizers are still looking for the big one to put atop the leader board.

Photo: Show and shine
Jr. Nelson, of Washington, polishes up his 1929 Hi-Boy Ford Roadster on Sunday during the ninth annual Classic, Custom, and Antique Auto and Cycle Show at the Centennial Hall. The Juneau Dipsticks organize the event that had more than a dozen entries.

Photo: Long arm of the wall
Joshua Youll reaches for a notch in the climbing wall at Floyd Dryden Middle School while playing in the sun with some of his friends after school Monday.

Photo: Flag from history
From left, Steve Henrikson and Ellen Carrlee, of the Alaska State Museum, examine a Russian flag brought to Juneau fromAngoon by siblings Pauline Jim and Leonard Demmert Sr. Their mother, Emma Demmert, inherited the flag, which Henrikson thinks may be from the mid-19th century.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials and state police reported:

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials and state police reported:

Around Town
Today, May 5

Around Town
Monday, May 4

Elizabeth Sylvia Frank
Lifelong Angoon resident Elizabeth Sylvia Frank died May 1, 2009, at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau, with her spouse, Wally Frank Sr., at her side.

Outside editorial: A tale of two scares
The recent salmonella outbreaks in peanuts and pistachios revealed a lot about the inability of the Food and Drug Administration to nip such problems in the bud. The FDA is responsible for "protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of ... our nation's food supply," yet it doesn't have the authority to order product testing, require that test results be shared with the agency or issue a mandatory recall when a facility moves too slowly - if at all - in getting tainted products off the shelves. Legislation to augment its authority is flowing through Congress like peanut butter. The concern is such that private companies and nonprofit groups alike have been pressing for action on food safety legislation in recent meetings with congressional leaders.

Outside editorial: Way too soon to break open the champagne
The recent smattering of good economic news - the stock market is up more than 25 percent from its low point in March, housing starts have increased and consumer confidence is finally on the rise - has left some observers turning to the next phase of recovery. As reassuring as it is to have a few up arrows, there is a long way to go before anything resembling a sustainable recovery can be proclaimed. Far-reaching governmental action on the fiscal, monetary and financial sector fronts has been critical in putting a floor on this downturn. But a dramatic and steady "V-shaped" recovery can hardly be counted upon, given the many economic challenges remaining. The U.S. economy contracted 6.1 percent during the first quarter of the year. The International Monetary Fund projects that the global economy will contract by 1.3 percent this year and remain sluggish in 2010, and it predicts a total of $4 trillion in credit write-downs over the next two years. The message is depressingly clear: The world is not yet out of the woods.

My turn: Corporate 'people' are the problem in America
I have a confession to make: I voted for Barack Obama, and I did it for the worst of reasons.

Flu not as contagious as fear
WASHINGTON - Swine flu is in the air, but the bug to watch out for is the germ of fear.

Three credit rating agencies hold too much of the power
Sweeping and significant change in the financial world - closing down the Wall Street old boys club - remains a dim and distant prospect.

Where's Our 'fierce advocate'?
In December, while trying to quiet the furor over his invitation of Rick Warren to take part in his inauguration, Barack Obama reminded us that he had been a "consistent" and "fierce advocate of equality for gay and lesbian Americans." But at the end of its first 100 days, his administration has been neither.

Exposing a Chavez charade
MEXICO CITY - President Obama came under fire last month for sharing a smile with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at the Summit of the Americas. Critics say that Obama was wrong to be friendly with a foreign leader renowned for his anti-U.S. antics and authoritarian tendencies. It might be expected, because I am a human rights advocate who has documented Chavez's authoritarian policies and suffered the consequences at the hands of his security forces, that I would share this criticism. But I think time may show that Obama did the right thing.

Football camp registration begins
The program, for boys and girls ages 7 to 12, will be held June 11-16, excluding Sunday, June 14. The camp runs daily from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

City holds meeting to review flu plan
JUNEAU - A city planning committee will meet today to discuss the state's pandemic flu response plan.

Missing teen found dead under Gustavus pier following search
Authorities had been searching for Phillip Austin Kesterson since his empty car was found in the waters of Icy Passage north of Icy Strait on Sunday. Authorities say he was last seen driving the vehicle at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday after leaving a bonfire near the pier.

ATV crash injures Wasilla teen
WASILLA - A 13-year-old Wasilla boy on an all-terrain vehicle was struck and injured by a sport utility vehicle as he crossed a road.

Two wounded in home invasion
ANCHORAGE - Two people were shot Monday during an Anchorage home invasion and police said one of the robbery suspects may also have been wounded.

Officials keep eye on Chena River flooding
FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks officials are keeping an eye on the Chena River.

Flooding hits 2 western villages
ANCHORAGE - Two western Alaska villages are awash in Kuskokwim River water and others are bracing for flooding.

Hazardous waste disposal day set
JUNEAU - The city of Juneau will hold a hazardous waste disposal day on May 31 in the Lemon Creek area.

ConocoPhillips and Anadarko announce NPRA discoveries
ANCHORAGE - Oil companies ConocoPhillips and Anadarko have the results back from tests performed on two wells in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

Rescue team responds to overdue Sitka hiker
SITKA - About 30 members of the Sitka Mountain Rescue team responded Sunday morning to a report of an overdue hiker in the Indian River Valley.

Woman injured in motorcycle crash
Thirty-three-year-old Danielle Griffin of Anchorage on Sunday was ejected from the motorcycle near Mile 11 into a trailer being towed by semi driver David McDonald.

Fairbanks chooses police chief
Pending city council approval, Zager will start June 1.

Ice jam causes floods in Eagle
Cabins in the old village section of Eagle were bobbling like apples in the current, residents told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Search on for teenage boy in Gustavus
JUNEAU - The U.S. Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers, the Civil Air Patrol, Glacier Bay Park Rangers and Gustavus residents were searching for a 16-year-old boy Sunday after his car was found abandoned in the water near a local pier in Gustavus.

FBI looking for robber of Anchorage bank
ANCHORAGE - A man robbed a bank in midtown Anchorage.

Feds grant TransCanada Alaska pre-filing status for gas pipeline
ANCHORAGE - The federal government has told TransCanada Alaska Co. it can start work on the Alaska natural gas pipeline project.

Earthquake occurs Saturday near Kodiak
ANCHORAGE - A minor earthquake occurred southwest of Kodiak.

Plea deal in AK corruption case helped Mine That Bird owner
ANCHORAGE - If it weren't for the plea deal that his dad, former Veco chief executive Bill Allen, made with federal prosecutors, Mark Allen might not have been in the winner's circle Saturday at the Kentucky Derby, celebrating the victory of his thoroughbred Mine That Bird and a $2 million purse.

Effort begins for parental consent initiative
Initiative sponsors including former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman applied last week to start gathering signatures. The measure would prohibit doctors from performing abortions for girls under 18 without "notice or consent" from at least one parent.

Donlin gold prospect heads to permit stage
ANCHORAGE - Forget Pebble for a minute. There's another huge project gearing up in Southwest Alaska, and it would turn a swath of spruce- and tundra-covered land owned by Alaska Natives in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region into one of the world's largest gold mines.

Gottschalks' demise leaves voids in West Coast towns
FRESNO - Gottschalks, a regional retailer with 58 stores anchoring main streets in far-flung towns across the West, has been turned over to a team of liquidators after 105 years in business.

Alaska looks for deal in prisoner contract
Commissioner Joe Schmidt said he's looking for "what the market might offer us right now."

Federal prosecutors seek death penalty against Joshua Wade
ANCHORAGE - Federal prosecutors have filed notice they intend to seek the death penalty for a man accused of killing an Anchorage nurse in 2007.

Lava dome grows in Mount Redoubt crater
ANCHORAGE - Mount Redoubt continues to grumble and produce small ash emissions and rock avalanches, while a lava dome grows in the volcano's crater.

Report: Heroin, prescription drug seizures on the rise
Prescription drug and heroin seizures by the Alaska Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement rose significantly in 2008, according to an annual report by the Alaska State Troopers.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

Palin urged to accept federal energy money
Sens. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, and Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage, who head the Senate Resources Committee, on Monday urged Palin to accept money to address needs in a state with some of the highest energy costs in the nation.

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